Microsoft’s one-handed iOS keyboard goes beta

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Word Flow iPhone
Word Flow for iPhone is no more.
Photo: Microsoft

Typing on your iPhone with one hand is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to good samaritans at Microsoft that have invented a custom keyboard for iOS.

Microsoft revealed today that its latest iOS app, Word Flow, just entered the beta testing phase. The new keyboard (which is different than the Hub keyboard introduced last week) brings some of Windows 10’s best typing to iOS users like the ability to swipe out words, and intelligent word prediction to go with its dead simple one-handed mode.

Take a look:

University adds dedicated texting lane for students on the move

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Don't stray into the wrong lane.
Don't stray into the wrong lane.
Photo: Inside Higher Ed

You know mobile devices have hit a certain critical mass when universities start adding walking lanes designed to stop texters from accidentally colliding with non-texters.

That’s exactly what happened to a staircase at Utah Valley University’s Student Life and Wellness Centre, with one staircase being home to dividing lines splitting students into “walking,” “running” and “texting” lanes.

Cloe is Siri with a human touch — and a life

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Cloe, a concierge service that  provides recommendations and answers to texted requests, is currently working her magic in two major cities. Photo: Meet Cloe
Cloe, a concierge service that provides recommendations and answers to texted requests, is currently working her magic in two major cities. Photo: Meet Cloe

New app Cloe is a dutiful concierge service you can text to request a good jazz club or microbrewery and get an informed, cheery response in a minute or less. Think of the mad research skills of Siri with the personality of Samantha, the AI operating system from the movie Her.

Need a tailor? Cloe may ask if you need a custom shirt made or just a button sewn on a jacket before she sends you a recommendation based on where you are standing at that very moment.

Bindle takes the suck out of group messaging

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New group-messaging app Bindle feels your pain. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
New group-messaging app Bindle tries to un-suck the group messaging experience. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Chris Toy was an Everquest geek in the early days, playing the addictive open-world video game somewhat obsessively.

It wasn’t slaying the monsters or leveling up that really motivated Toy, but the social aspects of the game.

“I was honestly pretty isolated,” the Hong Kong native told Cult of Mac by phone, “and talking to people via Everquest or World of Warcraft felt better than talking to real people.”

That’s when he realized that being able to text chat with other people wherever they were was the future of messaging, and perhaps even communication itself. Fast-forward to now, and Toy and a high-tech team living in San Francisco have created Bindle, a new group-messaging app designed to create this very same future.

Time-delay app buffers you against awkward texts

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New messaging app On Second Thought allows time to reconsider before a message reaches its destination. Screen grab: On Second Thought
New messaging app On Second Thought allows time to reconsider before a message reaches its destination. Screen grab: On Second Thought

Maci Peterson made a Christian man blush with a text message she sent to plan a first date.

“I wanted to know where to meet, D.C. or Maryland,” she told Cult of Mac. “So I typed, ‘Are you in DC or MD?’ and AutoCorrect changed it to, ‘Are you in D.C. or Me?’ I was so embarrassed.”

Peterson recovered and hopes she is on the verge of saving us all from stumbling fingers, drunken texts and the bewildering algorithms of AutoCorrect. Her new app, On Second Thought, launches this week for Android devices with a version for iPhone users due out early next year.

Dirty emoji make sexting simple (NSFW)

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Sexting made visual with the help of Flirtmoji. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Sexting gets visual with Flirtmoji. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

With packages of dirty emoji filed under group headings like Teen Dream and Fetish 101, the artistically perverted designers at Flirtmoji are ready to help the masses up their sexting game.

Anatomically correct emoji, plus classic icons of the sexual revolution such as the rainbow flag and a banana wearing a condom, will make it easy for you to make yourself perfectly clear.

This fun app sends emoticons as big as your feelings

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Screenshots: Cult of Mac
I'm feeling a bit Rocky Horror, here. Screenshots: Gina Pell/LOLy

Tired of being stuck with tiny little Emojis?

Well, the developer for new app LOLy has the solution: huge, animated emoticons that you can send to friends via text message, Facebook, or email. You can also just copy them and send along to any other text-accepting app, like Twitter, Kik, or Whatsapp.

The images are cute and fun to send, and once you’ve used the images included with the free LOLy app, you’ll want to grab a couple more packs for $0.99 each.

“I primarily designed this app for women with a focus on the 30s-50s demographic,” says app developer Gina Pell. “I had a hunch that most emoji were geared towards teens and lacked the sophistication, style, or wit that my friends or I would find interesting.”

How to master Messages in iOS 8

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Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Tons of new features make iOS 8's Messages app more powerful than ever. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’ve pretty much become a full-time texter these days, using Apple’s Messages app on my Mac and iPhone to send iMessages (to friends and contacts who use iOS or OS X) as well as regular text messages (to people outside the Apple ecosystem).

iOS 8 brings great new changes to the mobile version of the Messages app, some of which might not be immediately apparent. Here’s a look at the new features and how best to use them.

How To Replace Text Emoticons With Emoji [iOS Tips]

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shortcuts1

Sure, you use the Messages app to send along SMS and iMessages all day long. You know how to use Emoji’s, too, with a tap on the international keyboard button on your iPhone.

I bet you even use regular text emoticons, like semi-colon and parenthesis to create a wink, or colon and parenthesis to create a smile.

But have you ever tried to have your iPhone turn your text-based emoticon into an Emoji? I bet you haven’t.